In 1987 President Ronald Reagan passed a proclamation declaring March National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The presidential proclamation states, “For many of these people with developmental disabilities there is now the prospect of a brighter future and greater opportunity. Americans are becoming increasingly aware that such disabilities need not keep individuals from realizing their full potential in school, at work or at home, as members of their families and of their communities.” This is an opportunity to promote respect for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and increase awareness of the daily obstacles faced by these individuals and their families.
Many agencies and community groups have developed great ways to honor and celebrate DD Awareness Month. Monarch is working with other providers, businesses and organizations to encourage participation in observance of March as Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) Awareness Month through the Inclusion Saturday iniative .
The website InclusionSaturday.org launched March 1, and features a registry of North Carolina businesses, organizations and brands that support inclusion opportunities, including inclusive hiring practices, for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. North Carolina residents are encouraged to explore the site to find and visit a participating partner in their area on March 25.
SIDE BY SIDE is another campaign launched during DD Awareness month. In an effort to spread awareness about developmental disabilities, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) are partnering to launch a social media campaign (Side-by-Side) to highlight the many ways in which people with and without developmental disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness to the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to community life.
National Disability Awareness Month strengthens our commitment to provide opportunity and growth for people with disabilities and gives us a chance to reach out to others. Together we can make a difference!
“I invite all individuals, agencies, and organizations concerned with the problem of developmental disabilities to observe this month with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. I urge all Americans to join me in according to our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.”
-President Ronald Reagan-
Mission: "Providing tools and services people need to enhance their lives and the lives of others."